Have had my Corolla CE with 5-Speed manual transmission for past 8 years (73k miles). Runs same as when new. It's a small car that isn't great on the highway due to the weight and powerplant (and additional passengers and/or having the AC on will bog it down somewhat), but it was cheap, reliable, and gets over 30 MPG city. I have had no mechanical problems - just change the oil, etc. Haven't even changed a light bulb. Overall a great value and I plan on driving it at least another few years.
This is the most reliable automobile I have ever owned. We have two 1998 Corollas one is an LE and the other a CE. Both were purchased used at 30,000. Both now have over 100,000. This is truly an economy car needing normal maintenance and only one repair ever: the throttle position sensor on both cars one time.
I've had my LE for almost 8 years now. It has over 118k on it and it's still going. I bought the car for it's cute, sporty look(I added the rear spoiler and moon roof). I liked the price and it's fuel efficiency. My next car will definitely be a Toyota.
I liked the white faced gauges, spoiler, and body style.
The front drink holders were not convenient to use. My driver's side sun visor broke off on me twice.
Bought this car brand new in 1998. First year it was incredibly smooth and quiet. Very surprising performance for a small car. Ours has the 5 speed, so mileage is GREAT. Recently (2005) I drove 412 miles on 10.67 gallons of gas. That is 38 MPG! This was not all interstate miles either. It was mixed, city and highway miles. That was pretty impressive considering the car just passed 138,000 miles. The AC is great, and so is the heat. The channel preset buttons on the radio are all falling off, which stinks. The cup holder in the rear seat was placed in a bad spot. The cloth seats are adequate and are durable. The interior panels are resistant to temp extremes (no cracking so far). Great car.
Engine reliablility, and gas mileage. Sporty looks. At 138000 miles, it still has the original clutch, pumps, alternator, AC compressor. The only thing I've replaced is the starter, plugs, tires, brakes, filters, and oil.
Cup holder in the back seat location bad. When left out, it is at "foot level" leading to getting kicked by kids entering/exiting car. It broke the first year. The dome light switch has gone bad, twice. Currently the fixture isn't working. Clunky to use. Steering wheel is starting to crumble with age